MMA Betting on UFC 137

UFC 137 from Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada promises to be a card that attracts some of the largest MMA betting activity of the entire year. UFC 137 begins on Saturday, October 29 at 9 PM ET on Pay per View.

The main card will be highlighted by the welterweight matchup of long time MMA betting and fan favorite BJ Penn against Nick Diaz. Penn was a surprise entry for UFC 137 but said that UFC boss Dana White made him an offer that he couldn’t refuse.

There are four other bouts on the UFC 137 main card. In heavyweight action Cheick Kongo will take on Matt Mitrione and Mirko Filipovic will take on Roy Nelson. Scott Jorgensen will matchup with Jeff Curran in a Bantamweight showdown while Hatsu Hioki will take on George Roop in a featherweight match.

Spike TV will have a two-bout preliminary card as Dennis Silver will take on Donald Cerrone in a lightweight bout and from the featherweight ranks Tyson Griffin will meet Bart Palaszewski.

The 32 year old Penn is one of the superstars of the UFC circuit and a MMA betting legend. Penn has a career mark of 16-7 and has been in and out of UFC since 2001. He won the WFC welterweight championship in 2004 and later went on to win the UFC lightweight championship in 2008. In January of 2009 Penn had a shot to recapture the welterweight title but was defeated by another popular legend George St. Pierre. He lost the lightweight title to Frankie Edgar and the rematch that followed. He is coming off a win over Matt Hughes in November of 2010 and a draw against Jon Fitch last February 27. The first loss to Edgar was highly controversial and Penn has never been the same since.

Diaz is 28 years old and has a career professional record of 25-7. He is coming off a win from the Strikeforce circuit over Paul Dailey in a TKO. Diaz was in UFC 5 years ago but went on to the Strikeforce circuit where he became dominant as the champion of the Strikeforce welterweight division. He has won 10 bouts in a row and has not lost in 4 years.

In Diaz and Penn there is a matchup of the new versus the old and an outstanding contrast in style and reputation.

  

UFC Fight Night 25 Recap: Jake Ellenberger has arrived

nullIf anyone had doubts about Jake Ellenberger being a top contender in the UFC welterweight division, they were put to rest on Saturday night.

The rising star knocked out Jake Shields in under a minute in the main event of UFC Fight Night 25, giving him the biggest win of his career over the recent No. 1 contender in the division.

It was an explosive victory, as Ellenberger used a big knee to set up a flurry of punches from the ground to finish the fight. But, in that short time, Ellenberger showed the tools he needs to be a star.

Early in the fight he threw an uppercut that would have ended the fight if it landed. Clearly he found a hole in Shields game in terms of his ability to defend inside punches.

Also, Shields had a few weak takedown attempts that Shields easily defended. In this division, takedown defense is going to be a big thing for Ellenberger.

His striking is on par with anyone in the division and his aggression is up there with anyone, which makes him a dangerous opponent. He is a fighter that is willing to fall on his sword in hopes of winning a fight, but he has all the skills to avoid that fate.

It will be interesting to see what is next for Ellenberger as he awaits the UFC welterweight Final Four that is coming up at UFC 137 in late October.

I will also be interested to see what is next for Shields. His drop to welterweight in the UFC has been anything but stellar, as he is now 1-2 and his one win was razor thin. Perhaps a move back to 185 pounds will be in order.

  

Penn to now face Diaz at UFC 137

nullNow that the dust has settled in on the change to the UFC 137 main event, with Carlos Condit replacing Nick Diaz to face Georges St. Pierre for the welterweight championship, the next biggest question was who was B.J. Penn facing that night?

Penn was originally scheduled to face Condit in the co-main event, but UFC President Dana White said he was working on something crazy for Penn, and he hoped that it still take place at UFC 137.

Well, the UFC decided if it could move one fighter, why not just move the other.

Dana White released on his Twitter that Penn will now fight Nick Diaz in the co-main event.

This is crazy but here we go again! Penn vs Diaz 10/29 in Vegas

This should be a tremendous bout as both men have a warrior mentality and they will certainly leave everything in the octagon.

Diaz still gets his shot at a high-profile bout while Penn gets a chance to land a marquee win in the welterweight division.

I think from a matchup standpoint, the changes to both fights make each one more interesting.

  

Diaz removed for UFC 137 main event, GSP vs. Condit on

nullI see your Nate Marquardt and raise you a Nick Diaz.

In one of the most bizarre situations in UFC history, Strikeforce Welterweight Champion Nick Diaz has been removed from the main event of UFC 137 against UFC champ, Georges St. Pierre, after going AWOL on the company and skipping two press conferences in two days.

After missing three different flights to head to Toronto for a press conference to promote UFC 137 on Tuesday, Diaz stopped communicating with Dana White and the UFC and was nowhere to be found on Wednesday, for another press conference to promote the event in Las Vegas.

White announced at the beginning of the presser that Diaz was removed from the fight and co-main eventer, Carlos Condit, will take on GSP for the title.

Diaz’ trainer, Cesar Gracie, expressed his frustration with his own fighter to MMAJunkie.com.

“I don’t blame Dana White on this at all,” Gracie today told MMAjunkie.com  “This is a professional company, and Nick is a 28-year-old man.”

“I’ve stuck up for Nick, even when he was wrong before,” Gracie said. “But he’s let a lot of people down. He’s let his team down. We all bought plane tickets to Vegas. We got hotel rooms booked, paid for. We’ve got all that, and Nick just decided not to go to something he’s supposed to. They’re paying him a lot of money, and in this economy where people don’t have money, he’s blessed. He should be thanking God every night how blessed he is.

“And instead, he’s not getting on a plane to go to Vegas. I’m extremely disappointed. He’s done a lot of stuff, but this is the worst of it. If I were him, I would be begging Dana White to get my job back and work your way up to a title shot at some point.”

“I’m not a psychologist,” he said. “I personally think there’s some kind of social anxiety happening here with Nick. Dana said, ‘You’ve got to play the game this much.’ And this isn’t even playing the game. This is about being a man and being responsible. And Nick has done neither in this situation.

“He’s a great jiu-jitsu guy. He’s a great fighter. I’m saying this because I care deeply about the guy. He’s one of my black belts. But in this situation, he is 100 percent wrong, and he got what he deserved.”

There are so many side stories to this happening, but clearly the main one is the odd behavior of Diaz. I sincerely hope he is of good physical and mental health, but he has a lot of explaining to do.

He has certainly blown the greatest opportunity of his pro career and may never step foot inside a Zuffa cage or octagon again.

Carlos Condit may be a tougher opponent for St. Pierre, but we will break down that fight another time.

Also lost in the mix is that B.J. Penn is now without an opponent, as he was set to face Condit at UFC 137 in the co-main event.

  

MMA News and Notes – Henderson vs. Guida set, Diaz skips media event

nullLost in the announcement of Lesnar vs. Overeem on Tuesday were some other big news in the world of MMA, mostly concerning the UFC.

– In another big fight announcement, MMAFighting.com is reporting that top lightweight contenders, Ben Henderson and Clay Guida will collide on the UFC on FOX undercard. Henderson is coming off his dominant win over Jim Miller at UFC on Versus 5 while Guida defeated Anthony Pettis at the Ultimate Fighter Finale. The winner of this bout could find themselves in top contender status for the lightweight title. It should be a good grappling match, but I see Henderson favored based on styles.

MMAFighting.com also reported that Matt Hughes has accepted a fight with Josh Koscheck for UFC 135. Koscheck will replace Hughes’ original opponent, Diego Sanchez. Sanchez had to pull out of the fight with a broken hand.

– You can’t a teach a dog new tricks apparently. Despite Dana White insisting that Nick Diaz would conform to the various media requests that are expected of a top contender for his UFC 137 title bout with Georges St. Pierre, apparently the Strikeforce welterweight champion skipped a press conference on Tuesday in Toronto to promote the event. The UFC had to explination for his absence according to the Winnipeg Free Press, but another scheduled press conference is to take place today in Las Vegas. Will Diaz be there? Will he be punished for his absence?

– Fedor Emelianenko will return to action on Nov. 12 when he takes on Jeff Monson for a M-1 event in Russia according to MMAMania.com. Fedor has lost his last three bouts and will face Monson, who is coming off a loss to Daniel Cormier on the undercard of Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum. Stylistically, this is a good matchup for Fedor, but will do nothing to get him back into the American spotlight.

– Another announcement that took place on Tuesday is that the UFC is heading back to Japan in 2012. Sherdog.com reports that Feb. 26, 2012 is the set date for the organization to make its return to Japan, which is nearly 14 years since the UFC first stepped foot in Japan. Expect to see many of the countries top starts on that card.